95. Long Beach

Pacific Ocean

View south

small town strung along the sandy ocean beach

© 2000 Airphoto—Jim Wark


Clark awakened early on 19 November "from under a wet blanket caused by a Shower of rain which fell in the latter part of the last night." He and his party "proceeded on thro emencely bad thickets & hills." From the top of the hill today called North Head, he noticed a "Point of high land" twenty miles distant, north of the photograph. "This point," he journaled, "I have taken the Liberty of Calling after my particular friend Lewis." Lewis's Point may have been today's Leadbetter Point, at the northern end of Long Beach Peninsula. On his 1793 map, George Vancouver had drawn a point in this vicinity that may have represented this tip of land, but his rendering was more conspicuous than any landmark in the area today.

Clark's party continued north along the beach for four miles, to the vicinity of today's Long Beach, Washington. Here Clark memorialized their first visit to the Pacific Ocean by marking his name and the date on a small pine tree. Once again proving his keen geographical intuition, he led his contingent back to the hill, overland a few miles through dense forest to Baker Bay, and back to camp.

The following day Sacagawea relinquished her belt of blue beads—"Chief beads," the prime legal tender on the Northwest Coast—so the captains could buy a robe made of two sea otter skins as absolute proof they had reached the Pacific Ocean. Clark wrote, "The fur of them [was] more butifull than any fur I had ever Seen."


From Discovering Lewis & Clark from the Air
Photography by Jim Wark

Text by Joseph Mussulman
Reproduced by permission of Mountain Press